A Quick Art Stop, Featuring Emma Chichester Clark

h1 May 11th, 2010 by jules

“Once upon a time, there was a family of bears: Mommy Bear, Daddy Bear, and Baby Bear. One morning, Mommy Bear said ‘Bother! This porridge is much too hot!'”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

Observant 7-Imp readers may remember that one day, back in November of 2009, I mentioned this great book (pictured below), buried deep in my kicks for that Sunday:

As you can see, it was illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark, and so is the title I’m featuring today in this quickie art-stop post. Clark has taken on an old classic, the Goldilocks tale, and this is the first U.S. edition, released by Candlewick in February. (It was originally published in 2009.) And she brings it to life with her very texturized, detailed, colorful art. It makes me happy.

As all the (online) reviews I just read on this title will tell you, this is a spunky, jaunty, wry re-telling: Goldilocks isn’t just curious; she’s ever-so bold and naughty in this adaptation. See her having her way with the furniture on the cover here, while the bears are out? The book’s repeated refrain is: “She didn’t wonder. She didn’t ask.” As she does whatever she pleases in the home, she doesn’t hold back on her opinions either. (“‘Yeeow!’ she cried. ‘what a horrible hard chair!'” and “…snap! crack! {Baby Bear’s chair} broke into pieces. ‘Stupid thing!’ said Goldilocks, shaking out her hair.”) The vicarious thrill child readers will get out of seeing such blatantly bad behavior will, quite likely, induce loads of giggles. There’s also a great deal of humor in the reactions from poor, stunned Baby Bear when he gets home to see all of his stuff so seriously MESSED WITH, not to mention lots of over-the-top drama and lots of lovely, juicy big words for kids: When trying out the middle-sized bed (more like leaping onto it), Goldlilocks yells, “Oh, save me!…It’s so stiflingly, smotheringly, suffocatingly soft!” The hapless Baby Bear gets his laughs in the end, as they confront Goldilocks, scare her so badly her long hair stands straight on end, and send her on her way, screaming. “I’ll never know how a little girl like that could be so naughty!” says Mommy Bear.

But the art. O! The art! Clark’s illustrations, rendered in pencil and acrylic, are busy and engaging and colorful. As Kirkus wrote, “The bears’ house is quite lush — no cabin in the woods here.” You’ll see at this link that Quentin Blake once described Clark’s style as “funny, elegant, and delicious.” Yeah. What he said.

Here’s one more spread for you in this quickie art-stop post so that the beautiful art itself can do the talking. Click each spread to enlarge and see Clark’s colors and patterns up close. Enjoy…

“‘Never mind, my dear,’ said Daddy Bear. ‘Let’s go for a stroll while it cools.’ But that day, as they were leaving, a little girl named Goldilocks came by,
and goodness, was she hungry!”

* * * * * * *

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS. Copyright © 2009 by Emma Chichester Clark. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, on behalf of Walker Books, London.

7 comments to “A Quick Art Stop, Featuring Emma Chichester Clark”

  1. Squee! Love to start my day with a bear book. This one looks quite sassy. The art is lovely!

  2. Wow! I especially love that last spread- wonderful details, colors and shapes!

  3. “She didn’t wonder. She didn’t ask.” I really enjoyed this version of Goldilocks. The art is lovely and the text is great too.

  4. Thanks for featuring Emma Chichester Clark. She’s one of my absolute favorites!

  5. Just wanted to mention that Boynton was interviewed last Sunday on the CBS morning show. She said she wanted children reading her work to feel safe and happy. Alas, I can’t say the same for mine; but she was quite charming, and somehow didn’t look the way I’d imagined.

  6. My library needs this.

  7. […] I’ve noted previously at 7-Imp, I like the work of Emma Chichester Clark—a whole lot—and I hope to one day […]

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